Let's be honest here — none of us are actually watching the Fifty Shades movies for the delightful love story at the heart of it all, are we? Admittedly, once you're done with salivating over Jamie Dornan smacking Dakota Johnson to the super sick beat of Nicki Minaj's "Bom Bidi Bom," E.L. James's BDSM extravaganza isn't exactly the romance of the century. Here's the trailer:
- 'Fifty Shades Darker' Review: Steamy Sequel Finally Delivers On The Sex Scenes We've Been Gagging For
On paper, it certainly looks like the salacious series shows off nothing more than a bit of "kinky fuckery." However, what if I was to tell you that a deeper, darker truth lay behind facade of all that bonin' — one that revealed an unsettling glimpse into the heart of our own, real-world society?
The following three theories expose conspiracies that appear far more bizarre than any sex tool dangling on the walls of Christian Grey's Red Room of Pain. Check them out and try to decide which one sounds like it might be the most legit:
1. Ana Is Hiding A Crippling Eating Disorder
How often do you see Anastasia eat? The answer is hardly ever because the poor woman is clearly suffering from a crippling eating disorder. Think about it: She's constantly "losing her appetite," refusing to eat and never manages to actually finish a simple meal. For example, in Fifty Shades of Grey, in one scene she summons up the courage to make herself a sandwich loaded with carbs, before letting her flatmate steal it away without putting up a fight — seriously, who does that? It's not normal.
She later completely ignores a plate full of sushi that's placed right in front of her, doesn't touch a muffin she's just ordered and then post-bang, after spending the morning making pancakes over at Grey's place, just plops a few blueberries on her sad, sad plate.
In fact, looking over the minimal number of times Ana lets anything near her mouth other than a body part belonging to Christian, it appears that she has a very serious problem indeed. Ultimately, when we aren't seeing her shove a writing implement into her starving mouth — which quite frankly, is both disgusting and unhealthy — she's nibbling her lips like she's got some nervous tick or chugging glasses of wine in an attempt to quench her raging hunger with empty calories.
For reference, here is an outline of what she eats in the first movie:
- Red wine
- White wine
- Vodka shots
- A bite of toast
- A cup full of hot water
- A spoonful of gazpacho at her mom's house
- A tiny bit of chicken salad
- A plate of pancakes we never actually see her eat
This concerning disinterest with food continues in Fifty Shades Darker. When Ana momentarily contemplates taking Christian back by agreeing to go to lunch with him because she's "hungry," she gets all riled up when he orders her a juicy steak. For a woman watching her calories and fat content, she panics and quickly changes her meal to a quinoa salad — a bland substitute for food young professionals tend to eat when they're trying to lose a few pounds. Yet, even when that bowl of superfood goodness is served, we don't see her take a bite.
And if you think I'm totally barking up the wrong tree, an actual study in 2014 conducted by the Journal of Women's Health revealed that Ana's lack of eating is negatively affecting the Fifty Shades audience — research shows that people who had read the series were more likely to suffer from an eating disorder. After collaborating data from 650 women between the ages of 18 and 24, the statement claimed:
"If women experienced adverse health behaviors such as disordered eating first, reading ‘Fifty Shades’ might reaffirm those experiences and potentially aggravate related trauma. Likewise, if they read ‘Fifty Shades before experiencing the health behaviors seen in our study, it’s possible the book influences the onset of these behaviors.”
Plus, here's the final nail in this theory's coffin: While Christian's sister's name "Mia" (featuring Rita Ora in the most useless role invented) is short for "bulimia," Anastasia's nickname is "Ana," the Internet's slang name for anorexia. Is this coincidence? I think not.
Ultimately, while on the outside E.L James's novels may appear to look like insights into a kinky relationship, the dark reality is they are probably an exposé of society's obsession with weight loss.
- 'Fifty Shades Darker': How Does The 'Kinky F—ckery' In The Movie Compare To The Original Book?
- 'Fifty Shades Darker': The Erotic Smorgasbord Of Sex Scenes Ranked
- Jamie Dornan Said The Weirdest Thing To Dakota Johnson While Filming 'Fifty Shades Darker' Sex Scenes
2. Christian Grey Is A Leader Of A Terrifying Cult
When we were first introduced to the Fifty Shades series, it suddenly became totally appropriate to be told what to do by a guy just because he was wealthy and had a six pack that you could grade a block of cheddar cheese on.
In a moment of madness, men and women convinced themselves that Christian Grey represented their rampant sexual desires, choosing to ignore the fact that deep down he was nothing more than an abusive millionaire with a psychotic personality. And although this in itself is terrifying, what's even more frightening is the knowledge that although E.L. James might not outright say it, ultimately her protagonist is a dangerous cult leader.
Think about it this way: Christian waltzes into Ana's life as the powerful, older man at a time when her confidence is wavering. She is an immensely shy 21-year-old, a virgin who lacks self-worth, can't dress well to save her life and still owns a flip-phone even though it's 2015. On top of this, her main literary influences in life are the novels of Charlotte Brontë and Jane Austen — and for someone who also has a degree in English Literature, I can confirm that that's pretty bland and below par.
Swooping in on her when she is at her most vulnerable in Fifty Shades of Grey, cult leader Christian quickly realizes that Ana is an easy victim. And he's not even secretive about it — right from the very beginning, he's doesn't hide his effect on people and tells her in their interview:
"I've always been good at people. What motivated them, what incentivises them and what inspires them."
By coaxing her to step out of her comfort zone, and showering her with gifts, he gradually takes control over her life. Disturbingly indifferent to people's personal boundaries, he pops his chiseled jawline into situations where he's not wanted — one good example being when he rushes her home during a night out with her mates even though she explicitly tells him not to.
Then, he turns up the psycho-meter, conditioning her to become his submissive by forcing her to say "yes" to his weird sex games more often. And after dangling himself in front of her for long enough — like the creepy carrot that he is — she's finally manipulated enough to sign a full-blown, binding sex agreement.
Fast forward to Fifty Shades Darker and this controlling, manipulative behavior continues. For starters, he stalks Ana and buys up all the photographs of her face at José's gallery event (which is creepy enough), then proceeds to buy the company where she works so he can be her boss and can dictate every aspect of her professional life. He then continues to keep tabs on her, keeping a file on her and getting her a rose-tinted iPhone so he can manically track her GPS.
Essentially, Grey succeeds in sucking Ana into his cult of control. And by the end of the second installment, the poor woman's chances of escape are so minimal that she has no option but to roll over and succumb to marriage.
3. Fifty Shades Is A Metaphor For International Relations
Ultimately, if the two theories above haven't convinced you, this one probably will. The odds are that if E.L. James's series isn't about eating disorders or terrifying cult leaders, admit it — it's most likely about international relations.
According to some, the Fifty Shades series heavily alludes to America's impending doom, which considering the volatile political climate right now under our reality TV President, seems more imminent than ever. By taking a step back from the love story at the crux of the novels, it's easy to see how Ana and Christian's relationship can be seen as a metaphor for turbulent foreign affairs — in particular, between the world's two superpowers, Trump's America and Putin's Russia.
By fitting Anastasia into the role of the United States of America and Christian into that of the Russian Federation, E.L. James foreshadows a future in which the latter continues to tighten its grip on the former. To put it simply, Grey (Russia) is whipping the submissive Steele (America) to be more sympathetic to his views and to do his bidding. All the while, he is tightening his control with contracts and bonds to ensure he gets his way (Crimea and economic sanctions are just two issues that spring to mind!), weakening her every step of the way until she is fully under his influence.
Plus think about it, it's no coincidence that James's "fifty" shades are a direct reference to the fifty states of the United States, with "grey" exactly how they're going to be once this terrible relationship draws to a tragic close.